Framing Education in Youth Justice in England and Wales: Some Outcomes for Young Offender Intervention

Published 12/03/2014
Type Article
Author(s) Dr Victoria Knight
Corresponding Authors Dr Victoria Knight, Senior Research Fellow, Community & Criminal Justice, De Montfort University

It is acknowledged that many young offenders disengage with education. The need to reduce the numbers of young people that are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) has crept up the policy agenda for education and youth justice agencies in England and Wales. This paper reflects on one alternative education initiative (AEI) that sought to re-engage young offenders with the learning ladder by equipping them with basic skills in order to progress into mainstream education, training or employment (ETE). The responses from the young people highlight outcomes and tensions about the role that learning has in their lives and implications for social justice. The framing of education in the youth justice context relates closely to key theoretical models including community protection, pro-social modelling and compliance. By locating the young people’s responses in these ways it is possible to identify important policy tensions and subsequent implications for practice that arise from educational treatment.